It was a miracle! Yes, me -- of all people -- I had a miracle happen to me. No I didn't win the mega million dollar lottery or win a home in Arizona from HGTV. It was much more of a miracle for me than anything else I could have possibly ever imagined. Yes, this doubting Thomas had his up and comings. All those years of questioning, this non believer became a believer in an instant. I have always been one to find some excuse for not believing what others accept without question.
Even though I have always felt there was a much higher power guiding my life, I never stopped long enough to evaluate whether or not I was in touch with Him, He was in touch with me, or simply if I was floundering in a spiritual quest which was going nowhere. I have always felt I understood the guidelines of how a person should lead his life. They have been ingrained in me since I was very little. How could one go to a Catholic school and not have some of the love rub off on to your spirit?
Here is the story.
I was moving some pretty heavy stuff in my basement in early November and then went out to a football game and stood for about four hours on the concrete. The next day, I felt a very sharp pain going down my right leg. I heard of other people having a sciatic nerve problem, but never realized the constant excruciating pain that was ever present. I couldn't sit for long, could stand hardly at all, couldn't lie in any comfortable position, and had to sleep in a recliner and only for a very few hours a night. You should see what is on late night TV! I went
to the doctor and got some sleeping aids (didn't work), also got some prescription ibuprofen -- didn't seem to work too well either. I even resorted to Joe Villemure's own personal pharmacy remedy of guaranteed pain relief -- didn't touch the pain. I then looked on the Internet thinking to myself how long can this last? The MD site suggested anywhere from six weeks to six months. I began to curse to my inner self. Oh no, it can't possibly take that long.
Usually, most every Sunday when I am in the greater Detroit area I go with my wife, son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren to church at Kensington Church in Troy.
Yes, Jerry Donnelly in church brings a snicker from my brothers. They are looking for the ceiling to fall in. Naturally, the sermon on Nov. 25 was that you need to wake up and accept Jesus as your personal savior. Yah, yah, I thought to myself -- some more of the same old stuff. All I could think about was the pain while the Biblical references were being recited to prove this point about personal savior and all. As the service came to an end, I gingerly got out of my seat and started to make the trek to where my grandchildren could be picked up in the foyer. The pain was getting sharper with every step I took. I didn't know if I would make it some 200 yards or so to the pickup spot. As I was standing waiting for the children to arrive, I said in a very nasty tone to myself, "Jesus give me a sign, if you want me to believe." Now I am not really sure if those were my exact words, but they were said in not a way that anyone would ever consider being a prayer. No hands folded, no looking up to the sky, not down on one knee and all that other stuff you see in pictures of people praying. As the grandchildren came, my wife said let's go and as I started to walk -- the pain was gone! In a flash it was painstakingly there, and then gone in an instant. I thought to myself, I better keep this to myself. I am not really sure if anyone would believe me. This was around 11 a.m. and it wasn't until about 9 p.m. I told my wife. I had a real hard time accepting it as a miracle. I am sure some would say it was the medication, or the chiropractor, but not this instantaneously after a disgruntled prayer. I am accepting my miracle and having much more faith these days. It's really nice to accept things on faith alone. I am only sorry it took a miracle for it to happen to me. I think someone has something more for me to do with my life. This article may be it, but I have faith it is something more too. For once, this is not one man's opinion. This is the truth. Keep the faith.
Jerry Donnelly is a Petoskey native who was an educator downstate. His column appears monthly. Donnelly can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.